May 22, 2020
The pandemic is putting enormous stress on all families. With each passing day, the need for mental health supports increases. Yet the District's already complex mental health system is harder than ever to access. That's why we are reaching out to every child and family we work with to make sure they are able to access medication and therapy to help them manage during these hard times. And it is why we build strong relationships with families like the Harts,* so they will reach out to us when new crises emerge.
May 12, 2020
In an interview on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, CLC Policy Director Sharra E. Greer -- along with fellow guests DC Child and Family Services Agency Director Brenda Donald and Alison Gilbreath of Voices for Virginia's Children -- discussed the impact of the public health crisis on DC's child welfare services. Sharra shared CLC's success in advocating for youth at risk of aging out of foster care during the pandemic, gave insights into the challenges of virtual visits, and emphasized the importance of ensuring families and children have access to mental health supports.
May 8, 2020
Teens can be energetic, adventurous and at times impulsive - all reasons they need extra support as they transition into adulthood. It is also why we prioritized making extra calls to all the children we work with - especially our teens - the second we learned about COVID-19. We wanted to make sure they knew about and understood the severity of the pandemic and check in to see what additional resources we might need to advocate for so they could successfully shelter in place. Here is just a snapshot of what we heard.
May 4, 2020
CLC Executive Director Judith Sandalow spoke with the D.C. Policy Center to emphazise the importance of mental health supports for students while DC schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every child, like every adult, is feeling some combination of grief, loss and anxiety because of the pandemic. Fear of COVID-19. New routines – or no routines. Missing friends and teachers. Absorbing their parents’ stress.
April 30, 2020
Through our work supporting DC families receiving or transitioning from shelter services, Children's Law Center sees critical, large-scale problems in the District's homeless services system. In an interview with Morgan Baskin for Washington City Paper, CLC Executive Director Judith Sandalow shares insight into the experiences of homeless DC families, the need for effective policies to end family homelessness, and how children who do not fit a narrow definition of homelessness -- but are still doubled up or experiencing unstable housing -- face the same harms.
April 24, 2020
There is no question this pandemic is putting more than 13,000 special education students at risk of falling further behind. We are already advocating with schools to provide compensatory education to help students catch up. And we will work with the Mayor and the DC Council to protect critical funds in next year's school budget to make sure that schools and families are ready if there is a need for remote learning again this fall.
April 22, 2020
Years of thoughtful planning, careful stewardship of the District’s financial resources, and dedicated work by elected leaders, appointed officials, and civil servants prepared the District to meet the challenges of COVID-19 with resiliency and resolve. To maximize the effectiveness of the District’s response, behavioral health must be incorporated alongside physical health as the emergency continues. The District’s public health and safety needs are not and will not be adequately met without addressing this emergency’s behavioral health dimensions.
April 17, 2020
Excitement. Independence. Anticipation. These are all words someone might use when they turn 21. For DC's foster youth, their 21st birthday comes with a heavier burden. They need to find a place to live, pay for food, rent and transportation, and line up a job that makes enough money - with little or no support from their family. The shift into adulthood is hard for most young people living in DC. Imagine having to take that huge step during a pandemic.
April 9, 2020
When I put pen to paper a few months ago to craft the introduction to our 2019 annual report, I wrote, "In a world of uncertainty, there is one thing we know: Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children right here in our own community." Those words hit an even deeper emotional chord as I write to you today. Far too many families are being pushed further into poverty by today's health crisis. What gives me hope is knowing that -- when we come together, we can keep children safe and build family resilience. Our 2019 annual report is proof.
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